NFL: Could an NFC East all-star team win? Would it win the NFC?

Frank Schwab and Eric Edholm
·4 min read

Another week, another winless week for NFC East teams in non-divisional games.

The only way the NFC East wins this season is when it plays against each other. The cumulative record of the four teams is 10-26-1. It’s not crazy to think we could see a Week 17 battle between the 5-9-1 Philadelphia Eagles and 5-10 Washington Football Team ... with the winner taking a division title.

We have to get creative when it comes to finding a positive with the 2020 NFC East. How about taking an all-star lineup from the four teams? Could an NFC East all-star team win 10 games? Would it win a conference title?

Let’s find out.

(Amber Matsumoto/Yahoo Sports)
(Amber Matsumoto/Yahoo Sports)

Offense

QB: Carson Wentz
RB:
Ezekiel Elliott
WR:
Amari Cooper, Terry McLaurin, CeeDee Lamb
TE:
Dallas Goedert
OT:
Lane Johnson, Morgan Moses
G:
Zack Martin, Brandon Scherff
C:
Jason Kelce

It’s apparent right away we’re leaning on name value, almost by default.

Wentz has a 12-to-12 TD-to-INT ratio and a completion percentage under 60 when the entire league seems to be completing two-thirds of its passes, but who else would the quarterback be? Ezekiel Elliott is averaging 3.8 yards per carry, hasn’t had a 100-yard rushing game, and Tony Pollard has often looked like the better back, but it’s not like another back in the NFC East has been much better.

Goedert has 14 catches for 153 yards this season, and is just back from injury, but the NFC East is very short on reliable tight ends, especially with Zach Ertz fading fast. Most of the offensive line has been banged up, too.

Maybe these players would do well with better teammates. Wentz might not be an interception machine with better receivers. Elliott could look like more than a plodder with an offensive line that can open holes.

This is the best an NFC East offense can do, and it’s still shaky.

(Amber Matsumoto/Yahoo Sports)
(Amber Matsumoto/Yahoo Sports)

Defense

DL: Jonathan Allen, Fletcher Cox, Leonard Williams
LB/Edge: Brandon Graham, Demarcus Lawrence, Blake Martinez, Leighton Vander Esch
CB: James Bradberry, Kendall Fuller
S: Rodney McLeod, Jabrill Peppers

We both came up with virtually the same defensive 11 to start with, save for the veteran Graham getting the slight nod over rookie Chase Young, who has been great despite missing one game. It’s virtually splitting hairs here.

Overall, this is a good pass-rush unit. Cox is still a great interior penetrator, Williams is quietly having a nice season and the Graham-Lawrence duo would do work to heat up the edges.

Relying on Martinez (who is having a career season) and the sometimes injured Vander Esch at linebacker gives us some pause, but not as much as the secondary.

It’s by no means a bad group. But Fuller is primarily a slot corner, and the safeties are each respectable players but perhaps not major difference makers.

Even so, in an NFL season where there might not be a dominant defense, this unit would fare respectably overall. This would be a top-10 group, perhaps even top five, and one that relies on creating pressure, but it could be susceptible to big pass plays and might not be prolific in terms of forcing turnovers.

How would the NFC East all-star team do?

This is a good team, of course. The receivers are impressive, and the pass rush is great. Players who are struggling to play up to their normal standards might get on track with other stars around them.

It speaks to the overall strength of the NFC East that we wouldn’t necessarily write this team into a Super Bowl. We’d still be at the mercy of Wentz having a bad game, a hurting offensive line not opening up holes or the back seven of the defense not clamping down.

This has the look of a team that would go about 11-5. The NFC East teams are all bad individually, but between the four there would be one good team. While it’s possible it could all click for a long playoff run, it seems more likely this team would win one and then fade once it faced a club led by Russell Wilson or Aaron Rodgers.

At least a combined NFC East team would give us something we haven’t seen yet this season: quality football from the division.

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